Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Malawi
In 2009 the industrial sector in Malawi contributed roughly 19% to the country’s GDP (Comesa 2009); while manufacturing contributed 10% to the country’s GDP for the same year, a contribution which has remained steady at the 10% mark since the early 2000’s (World Bank 2010). In a 2010 analysis of employment in Malawi by The international Labour Organisation it was suggested that manufacturing plays a fairly small role the Malawian economy, it was found that roughly 5% of employees in Malawi are employed by the manufacturing sector, while 80% of workers engage in agricultural labour (International Labour Organization 2010).
Major players in the manufacturing industry includes textiles, footwear and clothing; agro-processing (tobacco, tea, sugar, soya, macadamia nuts); and building materials (cement, joinery). In recent years the production of tobacco in Malawi has decreased significantly, recent World Bank Statistics suggest that in 2012 tobacco production in Malawi dropped by 75% in 2012 compared to 2011 (World Bank 2012).
Major players in the manufacturing industry in Malawi include Mapeto (DWSM) ltd, the largest textile manufacturer in Malawi, Mapeto (DWSM) manufacture large quantities of yarn from the initial spinning process right through to printing and dying, they are one of the country’s largest importers, and employ over 1000 workers.
World Bank analysis suggests that the market for manufacturing is limited in part due to Malawi’s relatively small domestic market; while the shortage of skilled workers, low productivity and high transport costs in Malawi limit the capacity for the exportation of manufactured goods. In 2010 the World Bank’s doing business programme rated Malawi as 172 out of 183 countries for difficulties and cost of trading across borders (World Bank, 2010). Malawi’s current export trade is largely dominated by tobacco, tea, cotton, coffee, and sugar.
The 2012-2013 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report rates Malawi as 131 out of 144 countries based on production process sophistication, scoring 2.6 out of 7, where 7 is the most desirable. This is fairly standard score for the region, with Mozambique having a similar score of 127 and 2.7 respectively.
The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) is an agency involved in the promotion of the business and industrial sectors in Malawi. The MCCI currently has over 300 member organisations, and is open to all companies in Malawi. Membership is voluntary.